City leaders urge parents to keep kids safe on Halloween

Houston Mayor Parker and HPD officials held a news conference to emphasize cautionary measures for kids during Halloween
October 31, 2013 5:23:23 PM PDT
With Halloween just days away, Houston leaders are urging parents to take some important steps to make sure their little trick-or-treaters are safe.

Annise Parker joined costumed children and representatives of the Houston Police and Fire Departments at a home in Woodland Heights to offer tips for a safe Halloween.

"Halloween is a time for children of all ages to have a good time with family and friends," said Mayor Parker. "It can also be dangerous for our young goblins, ghosts and ghouls who are excited and maybe not paying close attention to their own safety. We want trick-or-treating to be fun and safe for everyone."

The mayor, HPD and HFD offer the following safety tips:

  • Always go in a group. Don't let young children walk alone. For older children, make sure you know where they are going and that they are with a supervised group with a responsible adult.
  • Be cautious of strangers; never go into a stranger's house or accept a ride from a stranger.
  • Only approach houses where the outside lights are on as a signal of welcome.
  • If you feel threatened or in danger while trick or treating you can go to any Houston fire or police station.
  • Have children wear light colored or reflective costumes and don't let them wear masks that obstruct their vision. Face painting is safer than a mask. Add reflective tape to your child's costume if it isn't already reflective. Also make sure their costumes fit and won't cause them to trip or fall. Costumes should be flame retardant. Carry a flashlight or glow stick so you can be seen.
  • Children should wait until they get home to eat candy. Parents should examine the candy for possible tampering; if it looks suspicious, is not wrapped or is loosely wrapped, get rid of it.
  • Motorists need to be extra cautious and watch out for trick-or-treaters ? especially after dark.
  • Illuminate pumpkins with small flashlights or battery operated candles instead of real candles. If using candles, keep them away from curtains and combustible items, including decorations. They should not be placed along walkways where costumes might brush against them.
  • The HPD Juvenile Division and patrol officers have been busy this week checking the residences of registered sex offenders. Not all sex offenders are barred from contact with children, but officers are making sure that those who are meet the conditions of their parole or probation and are not giving out candy.

    The Houston Humane Society (HHS) wants everyone to take the following steps to be sure pets have a happy, healthy and humane Halloween.

  • If you plan to hand out candy this season, be sure your dog or cat is secure (whether in a crate or another room). Many pets escape through frequently opened doors!
  • Be sure all pets are wearing collars with ID tags. Many of us leave collars and tags off from time to time, but this time of year it is imperative that you don't forget to put their identification on them. Constant doorbell ringing, frequent visitors, and disruption in their normal routine can spook even the most well-adjusted pet. If your pet does dart out, you want to make sure they have their ID!
  • Keep candy out of your pet's reach. Many types of candy and chocolate can be harmful to pets.
  • Jack O' Lanterns! Fun and festive, but watch those candles. A darting cat or dog can accidentally tip them over and create a fire hazard! Consider switching to batter operated tea lights this year.
  • Costumes!!! We love 'em. But make sure the costume is not restrictive or overly annoying to your pet. And be careful of anything that dangles! You don't want your pet to choke!
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